Issue 517


Christmas parade for peace LAUNCESTON — "Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all" — As the US and its allies plan for war on Iraq and asylum seekers in Australia languish in detention, this simple Christmas message couldn't be more relevant.
BY SARAH STEPHEN Fatima is a widow and grandmother who has been in Australia for 10 years, living with her family who are financially supporting her. She has no remaining close family in East Timor and has grown very close to her
BY OWEN RICHARDS SYDNEY — A dynamic and colourful gathering of around 1000 activists at Town Hall on November 13 kicked off three days of protest against the mini-ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) with a march demanding
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — The Tasmanian Labor government announced plans in early November to allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt children and to register their relationships (although not marriages) with the Office of Births, Deaths and
BY TONY ILTIS MELBOURNE — The Socialist Alliance has launched its campaign for the November 30 Victorian election. On November 8, the Socialist Alliance launch in the seat of Footscray, in Melbourne's west, attracted 35 people. Surma Hamid from
MELBOURNE — With regret, the Aston branch of the Socialist Alliance has announced that Josephine Cox will no longer be standing for the alliance in the seat of Dandenong in the state elections. Aston Socialist Alliance members wish Cox all the best
BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS MELBOURNE — "Victorian economy surges past NSW" announced the November 14 Age. Heralding the growth of the Victorian economy, the article praised the state government. Photos of a serious looking Premier Steve Bracks and
BY JANO GIBSON SYDNEY — Despite allegations by NSW police minister Michael Costa that it would be used to promote violent behaviour against police, organisers of a civil disobedience forum held at Parliament House on November 8 asserted that
BY RUSSELL PICKERING PERTH — Left unity was the topic of discussion at a November 12 Socialist Alliance public meeting, attended by 40 people. The speakers at the forum included Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) district secretary Nikki Ulasowski,
BY KARL MILLER MELBOURNE — On November 2, the Socialist Alliance held a very successful dinner. Around 110 people filled the Flemington Community Centre to celebrate achieving electoral registration in Victoria. Every party that was affiliated


BY BILL SMITH The Papua New Guinea Catholic Bishops Conference on November 6 called on the PNG government to "respect human rights and accept the need to release the refugees from detention in Manus [Island]". The bishops said that the laws of PNG
MAPUTO — The structural adjustment program under way in Mozambique since 1987, with its privatisation of well over a thousand formerly state-run companies, has led to 120,000 workers losing their jobs, according to the country's largest trade union
BY ZANNY BEGG SYDNEY — Alan Wood, in his article "World's poor at the mercy of Europe" (Australian, November 12), argued that those protesting at the November 14-15 trade ministers' meeting sponsored by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) were
BY ROHAN PEARCE On November 3, six men in Yemen were murdered in cold blood by a US "hellfire" missile launched from a remote-controlled Predator aircraft. The men were "suspected" of being al Qaeda members. The explosion, which obliterated the
BY STUART MUNCKTON Right-wing opponents of elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have gone on a new offensive aimed at destabilising the country and bringing Chavez down. In recent weeks there has been a general strike supported by national and
BY STUART MUNCKTON Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has answered right-wing commentators who have attacked Brazil's new president, the Workers' Party candidate, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with the claim that Brazil will, with Venezuela and Cuba,
The 2002 US Department of Defense report on "Allied Contribution to the Common Defense" highly praises the Japanese Self-Defense Forces' participation in operations in the Indian Ocean the past year in support of US forces. The report, submitted to
BY NORM DIXON Up to six Kabul University students were killed when police opened fire on demonstrators on November 11 and 12. Human Rights Watch reported on November 14 that police fired directly into the crowd on November 12, without warning.
BY BARRY SHEPPARD SAN FRANCISCO — The November 5 elections in the United States saw modest gains for the Republican Party, which now controls both houses of Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate). However, the Congress remains
BY EVA CHENG China's drawn out process of capitalist restoration is poised to take a new leap forward after the 16th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CP), held November 8-14 in Beijing, vigorously endorsed such a move away from socialism.
BY JIM GREEN A US-led attack on Iraq is likely to result in between 48,000 and 260,000 deaths during the first three months of combat. Post-war health effects could result in a further 200,000 deaths, according to a report by the International
BY RAISA PAGES Every year, an average of over 400 billion cups of coffee are drunk throughout the world. It is the planet's favourite beverage. In fact, coffee is the second most important raw material in commercial volume, following oil. Coffee


A peace protester in Rochester, New York, USA, was arrested in September for playing a song called "Hey, Hey, USA: How Many Children Have You Killed Today?" at high volume outside a military recruitment office. He was fined for "disturbing the
Nickel and Dimed: Undercover in low-wage USABy Barbara EhrenreichGranta Books, 2002221 pages, $24.95 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON "What am I doing here?", wondered the 50ish professional writer with a PhD in biology, Barbara Ehrenreich, as she
Stand Up and Fight!Photographs by John EllisNew International Bookshop Gallery, Trades Hall, 54 Victoria Street, Carlton, MelbourneNovember 30-December 21Monday to Friday, 9.30am-6.30 pmSaturdays, 11am-5pm MELBOURNE — This excellent exhibition
MELBOURNE — A South American folk mass, sung by a 60-strong choir and accompanied by an Andean band, will be the major piece in the "Voices of the Masses" concert in Melbourne on November 22-24. Over the last nine years, the community choir Canto


It is a sign of how strong opposition to a war against Iraq has become that the Labor Party federal caucus on November 12 shifted its position slightly. But the shift is an illusion. Come a war, the ALP will almost certainly support it. The ALP now